Leadership Blog

15 Minutes-a-Day to Better Relationships!

Posted on August 31, 2013 | in Culture, Focus | by

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It was 6:00 P.M. Saturday evening as I was leaving the plant parking lot after a tough week.  I was feeling guilty about neglecting my wife and three children.  Noticing the boss’s car still parked outside his office, I veered back.  Sticking my head into his office door, I remarked, “Bill, I have to know how you do it!  You work crazy long hours as I do, yet when I see you at church or in the community with your wife and three kids, you obviously have a solid, authentic, and loving relationship.  How in the world do you do it?!”

Bill’s quick answer was, “Quality!”  I replied, “I’m not talking about the products we make.  I’m talking about family outside of work.”  As he packed his briefcase, Bill confirmed, “So am I!  When I arrive home soon, every minute spent together will be a QUALITY minute.  Each of our three children and I will spend at least fifteen minutes of one-on-one time together.  Family time together is important, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about face-to-face dedicated attention.  I’ve played with a lot of dolls and pushed a lot of toy trucks on the floor, but this is quality time with no TV distractions, no interruptions, with the space and time being completely ours.”   This turned out to be one of the Best Practices for Parenting I ever learned, which typically went beyond 15 minutes.

And yes, you can translate this practice to work, being sure that your time is quality time with your people, peers, and boss.  Start your days with a one-on-one “good morning,” then later just drop in to see how things are going, take time to listen, or tackle a problem together.

While not always disciplined enough to follow Lombardi’s priorities of Faith, Family, and Job, this practice always helped bring me back to center.  Our kids, and Bill’s, are now grown and gone, with solid values, education, jobs and families of their own, along with enduring open relationships with their parents.  The dedicated 15 minutes worked so well with our children, I practice it with my wife!

This week, daily dedicate 15 one-on-one quality minutes with each family member, AND your work colleagues.  The relationship building that occurs will open some more meaningful communications channels and make a difference.

… And Pass It On!



One Response to “15 Minutes-a-Day to Better Relationships!”

  1. Gary Stanley says:

    Good advise KB – unfortunately we sometimes learn these kind of lesson the hard way. The time lost at home with your loved ones can never be recovered so enjoy them and the quality time you have each day and you will have no regrets – only fond memories.


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